Five and a half years since the release of their last album “Ill Ages“, Dresden based atmospheric rockers VILLAGES are back with their impressive new album “Excessive Demand“, slated for an October 28th release on PIKE Records and It’s Eleven Records. Today, we’re thrilled to give you an early listen with some more details behind their craft and a special selection of lyrics and song explanations, served by the band themselves. Dive into it below.
“Excessive Demand” succeeds in creating an absolutely catchy, captivating sound from complex components. Touching on a plethora of different moods and styles, the album comes as a smart and impassioned alternative rock with a sense of purpose. Performed with the confidence of a veteran and the thrist of a still fresh band, the entire record still stands as the group’s definitive album.
Unusual drum grooves drive the eight songs forward, while analog synthesizers and reverberated guitars add layer upon layer – the electronic coldness meets a warm bass sound and often fragile, multi-part vocals. VILLAGES blend diverse influences from synth- pop, indie/art rock and post-rock to create their original, detailed sound that reveals new facets with every listen. This reflects such diverse sources of inspiration as Battles, Trail of Dead, LCD Soundsystem, Deerhunter, Pttrns, Chad VanGaalen and many more.
The album title “Excessive Demand” refers to energy-sucking everyday debates which overlay and destroy all utopian thoughts and efforts for a more ideal future. In their lyrics, the band critically deals with personal, but also social issues such as violence, mental health, privilege, outdated role models and self-dramatization.
“Excessive Demand” was recorded, mixed and mastered by Roland Wiegner (productions including Jungbluth, Düsenjäger, The Hirsch Effekt) at Tonmeisterei Oldenburg. The cover artwork was designed by Fabian Bremer from Leipzig (Radare, AUA).
VILLAGES is a three-piece band (post-punk/experimental/synth-pop) from Dresden, Halle and Leipzig. After a demo tape (2016), the first, almost entirely self-produced album “ILL AGES” was released in 2017 on Pike Records as a vinyl LP. This was followed by tours and concerts in Germany and neighbouring European countries with bands like Maserati, Candelilla, Akne Kid Joe, Radare, Soft Grid, Whispering Sons and Pigeon.
While writing the songs for that record, the band never thought about a specific concept or common theme. “After finishing the lyrics we gave thought to a connecting substance and ended up with the album title.” – they admit. “Excessive Demand” turned out as a collage of personal responsibilities and debates we did not chose to deal with in the first place, but considered they deserve a lot of our attention for a good number of reasons. Matching this kind of “passive“ approach for song topics, they almost always have their origin in some kind of extraordinary event I experienced and got confused from.”
Expounding on selected parts, the band gave us an in-depth look at some of the lyrics on the album.
Words by VILLAGES
your grace — you ain’t feel nothing
your face — I don’t want to touch it
In between a short period of time, I was assaulted three times and personally threatened with physical violence. In those situations I was intimidated, my body reacted with a fast pulse and I made efforts (more or less successful) to keep as calm as possible. To my own surprise, in one case I reacted kind of stubborn with the risk to get beaten up or give in on an actual fight, in an other I got angry and yelled at the attacker to piss off. I never thought I could lose control so fast, even if that put me in danger. In those situations, I either had trusted people around to rely on or was just lucky so nobody got hurt in the end. The song focuses on the chance of the attacker to let go until harm is done and reveals those threats as helpless and outdated demonstrations of physical superiority and preservation of hegemonic masculinity.
now, this is my descendant’s break
I just returned some great headache
While talking to friends of my age, I realized how nearly everyone has strong difficulties with at least some of their parents values and attitudes, expectations and priorities. Sometimes it seems elusive when the previous generation can’t cope with the easiest social adjustments. This could make us doubt their achievements compared to our grand parents and lead to responsibility for our own desired amount of progress. It is not done with just being younger and for that reason, knowing better what possibly went wrong historically- we have to actively oppose certain habits (especially the cruel ones!) to make a true difference and become someone else.
„won’t let you down, despite they hate ya
get off the ground, and meet me later
This character from the most recent season of twin peaks impersonates the helplessness of his relatives when he suddenly changes his behavior in an obscure way.
Someone really close to me developed serious mental health issues which caused a sudden change in personality. It often feels tough, because I can’t reach the person anymore und any efforts for positive change seems fruitless. Esteeming communication, mutual understanding and trust are often challenged. I figured I have to watch my limits if I won’t go down the dark road too, but stay right here instead offering support if there is a will to get better.
There are more topics like the reproduction of fake news or romanticizing former relationships while loosing priorities in the present tense.
We see: reality can be exhausting, because it keeps us from utopian thoughts, we would rather wrap our head around. While this his is clearly written from a privileged perspective, ongoing “Excessive Demand” shakes these certainties…
Like there is a wide range topicwise between the songs, the same goes for musical influences instruments and effects. It was always crucial with that band, to make every song unique – especially concerning sound. It does not happen much, you’ll find the same synthesizer or guitar-effect settings for two songs. A big part of the gear does not work with presets- so in every-live situation, the settings are different to the lone before. We are always busy tweaking knobs and faders and we like to bring not only the absolute necessary stuff on stage, but much more the stuff which is fun to use.
We try to avoid sampling most of the time to keep control on as many sound parameters as possible, while the gear produces the music on stage instead of relying on playback. Sometimes this seems odd and old fashioned, but we like what’s coming out in the end. Of course some of our instruments, especially the synth-classics Juno 106 (cheesy 80´s pads! ) and MS-20 (snarling basses and noisy filters) are quite easy distinguishable- this will do no harm and we won’t do any cover ups on that topic because we like them for what they are.
To choose Roland Wiegner from Tonmeisterei Oldenburg for recording and producing was the perfect fit for that approach, because he never relies on things that „just do the work“ but finds individual ways to capture the perfect, matching sound on every production from scratch. In the end, we even had to tame his creativity for the mixes – maybe we were not as confident or our head was used to the sounds from the pre-production in our rehearsal space too much.
For the artwork, Fabian Bremer did an excellent job representing the album main theme. We knew him a long time already and always liked his graphic work, besides he’s a fabulous musician with a taste you can really rely on. It was his idea to use 70´s postcard motifs for a collage which shows the decades of economic boom and its overstated yet outdated aesthetics.